How to Take Modafinil Effectively | 16 Quick Tips and Tricks

Modafinil Effectively

If you're wondering how to take Modafinil effectively, then you've come to just the right place.

In this in-depth guide, we'll give you our personal thoughts, education, and opinions on taking the world's most popular nootropic. From the best time to take Modafinil, to how to avoid minor Modafinil side effects, all the info you need to succeed can be found here.

The good news?

It's pretty easy to make the most out of Modafinil by using it responsibly. Below you’ll find our personal tips and tricks, which over the years have allowed us to get impressive cognitive benefits [1] from Modafinil, including:

And that's just the tip of the Modafinil iceberg! Keep reading this in-depth guide to learn much more about this powerful nootropic.

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Disclaimer: The contents of are for informational and educational purposes only. We do not provide legal advice. Likewise, we do not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician prior to consuming Modafinil or related nootropics. Your access to is subject to our full Disclaimer and Terms of Use.

What Is Modafinil?

As you’ve been searching for how to take Modafinil effectively, we’ll go ahead and assume that you know exactly what this smart drug is…

But if you don’t, we'll quickly run through the basics and get you up to speed.

Modafinil is a type of drug known as a “eugeroic”, which means it promotes wakefulness and prevents you from feeling tired. It was discovered in France in the mid-1970s and released as a pharmaceutical drug in 1994 under the brand name ‘Modiodal’ [1]. 

Modafinil is used to treat sleep-related illnesses like narcolepsy — where people fall asleep during the day, and shift work sleep disorder — where people struggle to sleep because they are working night shifts. It's also sometimes prescribed to people in demanding jobs who need to stay awake for extended periods, such as commercial aviators [2].

While that's all very interesting, it's probably not the reason why you're interested in Modafinil…

You've probably heard that it's a ‘smart drug', ‘study drug', or ‘nootropic', and you'd be right; it does offer numerous cognitive benefits [3].

You see, when you take Modafinil as a nootropic,you can generally expect things like:

  • Insane focus for 12+ hours [4]. 
  • Improved cognition.
  • Better memory retention.
  • Higher productivity.
  • Inability to feel fatigued.

Modafinil is extremely popular with ‘Type-A’ high-achievers like entrepreneurs, CEOs, and students who want to experience the “superhuman” levels of focus [5] and enhanced memory [6] that this smart drug offers.

If you're curious about how Modafinil offers these incredible benefits, the short answer is that it basically floods your brain with huge amounts of histamine and dopamine [7]. This creates a stimulant effect; the histamine keeps you wired and productive for literally hours [8]. After you take Modafinil, it’s almost impossible to feel fatigued, even if you are doing difficult, boring, or repetitive work.

Most of Modafinil's cognitive benefits come from the extra dopamine [9]. This important neurotransmitter gives your mood and memory a phenomenal boost, making it much easier to work and study effectively [10].

As a ‘study drug', one of Modafinil’s most helpful effects is that it dulls a specific part of the brain — the ‘amygdala'. This has an important effect; it reduces your sensitivity to fear stimuli and helps you work and study effectively even if you are feeling stressed or under a huge amount of pressure [11].

And we’re not only speaking from our experience here…

Modafinil’s effectiveness as a “smart drug” is supported by numerous scientific studies published in peer-reviewed medical journals [12]. This stuff is legit. 

Its purported cognitive benefits are why Modafinil has become the world's most popular smart drug. People from Australia to Mexico to the UK seem to all be using Modafinil to get more stuff done, get better grades, and make more money.

Modafinil just WORKS.

How to take Modafinil Effectively

Modafinil Side Effects and Safety

Modafinil is considered a safe drug when used to treat patients with narcolepsy and has been utilized for almost 30 years. However, it possesses a series of side effects, some of which have still not been fully researched and remain little-understood.

One study asked participants to take 200mg of Modafinil to see what side effects they would experience. The most commonly reported side effects were a dry mouth, dry throat, mild anxiety, headaches, and nausea [13]. However, these side effects were quite mild and subsided within 24 hours. 

So, if you are considering taking Modafinil ‘off prescription’ or off label as a nootropic, you should be prepared to experience some of these side effects. Based on the data, they shouldn't be a major concern if you take the recommended dose of 100-200mg.  

It should be noted that many users report using Choline to reduce or eliminate most of these minor Modafinil side effects. Staying hydrated also helps combat headaches and a dry mouth and throat. 

We should also point out that Modafinil is rarely used off-label as an ‘everyday' smart drug; we like to take it 1 or 2 times per week, or on days where we don’t need to cram for an exam or crush our workload. It is not a replacement for sleep. 

When we first started, we went with a 100mg dose by taking it first thing in the morning to see how our bodies would respond before building up to a higher 200mg dose. We have always avoided taking more than this or using the drug too frequently. 

Research shows that Modafinil doesn't tend to cause dependence issues — it has not been shown to be an addictive substance. Users won’t likely experience any withdrawal symptoms when discontinuing Modafinil use [14].

That being said…

In rare instances, and at extremely high doses (300mg+) Modafinil can cause effects like:

Stop taking Modafinil immediately if you experience any of these and seek medical assistance.

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How to Take Modafinil Effectively | 16 Quick Tips and Tricks

Curious about how to take Modafinil effectively?

We find there’s nothing to it.

Our 16 quick tips below have consistently helped us to get the most out of the smart drug…all while minimizing potential side effects:

The “Perfect Dose”

We are not medical professionals, yet the key to getting the most out of Modafinil is finding the perfect dose. Our ideal dose is between 100 – 200mg per day.

When we were new to Modafinil, we started with 100mg. Because we felt comfortable with Modafinil's effects at 100mg, we then moved to 200mg for our subsequent Modafinil days.

Some people prefer taking just 100mg of Modafinil, a practice known as microdosing Modafinil. Others need 200mg to feel anything.

Several members of our team have experimented with taking 300mg of Modafinil but reported few additional benefits in terms of focus and productivity compared with taking 200mg doses of the smart drug.

Everybody’s different, so you’ll want to consider your own biology as there’s no “universal perfect dose.”

Split Dosing

We’ve found that one of the best ways to take Modafinil is by split dosing throughout the day. Essentially, you use a pill splitter and cut a 200mg Modafinil tablet into halves or fourths.

We might take 50-100mg in the morning right after breakfast. Then we’ll work for 4-6+ hours. We’ll eat lunch, then take another 50-100mg of Modafinil. This allows us to work another 4-6+ hours without losing focus.

By split dosing Modafinil, many users find the effects of Modafinil are more stable and predictable.

It's usually cheaper to buy Modafinil online in 200mg pills and then cut them into 100mg doses —if that's how you prefer to take the smart drug.

This pill cutter works well to split Modafinil.

Time Things Right

We’d be foolish to take Modafinil in the afternoon and expect to get the full benefits of the smart drug…unless we were looking to pull an all-nighter.

When we’re going to use Modafinil, we make sure to wake up early and consume the nootropic as early as possible.  Due to Modafinil's half-life, the effects of the nootropic can last up to 15 hours. So if you wake up at 7 am and pop a Modafinil, the effects should kick in by around 8-9 am.

This should let you work until 11 pm that evening. That's a whole lot of productive time.

Overall, one of our most important Modafinil rules is this…

We always take this smart drug in the morning.

Forget About Sleep

Sleeping and Modafinil don't exactly get along well. Think about it…Modafinil was created as a wakefulness agent designed to keep people with sleep disorders awake all day long.

If you're planning to take Modafinil, understand that it may mess with your regular sleep schedule. It's rare to fall asleep before midnight, even when taking Modafinil early in the morning.

Of course, it all depends on one’s Modafinil tolerance, the dosage, and what time you normally sleep. Some users have no issues falling asleep at 10 pm after taking Modafinil in the morning, while others can't get to sleep until 2-3 am the next morning.

This is why we so often see new users  start by taking just 100mg Modafinil early in the morning.

Remember to Eat

It’s tough, but we always  remind ourselves to eat after taking Modafinil. The smart drug can act as an appetite suppressant. As such, we rarely  feel any hunger pangs while using the nootropic.

We make a conscious effort to remember to eat when using this smart drug. This means sticking to our typical meal schedule — even if we don't feel hungry.

We eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time we normally do and try to eat similar amounts. This helps us minimize certain side effects of Modafinil such as headaches and nausea.

Many users who experience stomach issues and nausea when taking Modafinil find that it’s due to one reason…not eating food when taking the smart drug!

Drink Plenty of Water

Just like food, we sometimes forget to drink enough water while using Modafinil. There's a good chance we’re engulfed in our work and forget about the need to quench our thirst.

This is commonplace for many Modafinil users. They become so focused on their work, that they forget to drink enough water during the day. Their mouth becomes bone dry and by the time they realize how dehydrated they are, they’ve already developed a headache.

We keep a gallon of water by our desk when taking Modafinil. We try to down a glass every hour or so.

If taking Modafinil, we try to drink some Pedialyte with our final meal of the day. This greatly helps with hydration.

By staying hydrated when using Modafinil, we can easily ward off many of the most common side effects of Modafinil. We always look to keep the fluids flowing when using this smart drug.

Pay Attention to Tolerance

Some people like to take Modafinil every single day. While this may provide some sustained cognitive benefits, it is certainly not something we would do.

While Modafinil doesn’t appear to be addictive, it is a strong prescription drug. As such, it's important to be aware that your body can develop a tolerance to Modafinil if you take it for extended periods. This is especially true when taking Modafinil as a smart drug.

Overall, most nootropics users find Modafinil is best taken 1-3 days per week.

This is also the dosing schedule we follow, and it allows us to experience insane cognitive benefits while ensuring that we don’t build up any type of Modafinil tolerance.

Members of our team have used this smart drug daily for weeks on end in the past but found the intense cognitive benefits of Modafinil begin to wear off after the first couple weeks of daily use.

Taking Modafinil effectively isn’t an exact science. However, taking Modafinil 1-3 times a week seems to be ideal when using the product as a nootropic.

Don't Hit the Gym

Some people rave about Modafinil's effects on their workouts. They find that this smart drug increases their focus, endurance, and mind-body connection while in the gym.

For the most part, these people appear to be correct. Studies have shown that Modafinil reduces the sensation of fatigue in the muscle, among other things [15].

However, we personally wouldn’t take Modafinil before going to the gym. Here's why…

Decreasing the sensation of fatigue in the muscles can lead to negative consequences, like exercising too intensely and injuring yourself. We find that joint pain increases significantly when going to the gym after taking Modafinil. We believe this is due to one's inability to feel fatigued while lifting.

Yet, this isn't the only reason why we caution against using Modafinil in the gym…

Quite frankly, if you're in the gym after taking Modafinil, you're not using the benefits of the nootropic wisely. In our opinion, there are much better uses for Modafinil than simply pumping iron.

To make the best use of Modafinil’s cognitive benefits, we stick to academic or work-related tasks, and tasks related to increasing productivity.

No Boozing

Modafinil may sound ideal for dealing with a hangover and staying productive, but we find that mixing the smart drug with booze is a no-go. Prescription drugs rarely mix well with booze, and Modafinil is certainly no different.

The main reason?

Both Modafinil [16] and alcohol [17] place extra strain on the liver. The liver metabolizes (breaks down) both of these substances after you ingest them. When using both Modafinil and alcohol at the same time, the liver is put under undue stress.

While we’re not going to dive too much more into the science behind Modafinil and alcohol here, we’re firmly against combining the two.

Not only are there health risks, but this is another example of how not to use Modafinil wisely. We use Modafinil for focus and drink when we want to be social. We don’t combine the two.

Get Started Before the “Kick”

Many members of our team have fallen into the trap before. We’ve taken Modafinil and then waited around for the effects to kick in. We wanted to feel the smart drug coursing through our veins and brains before we started work.

It’s wise to avoid this trap. Nobody wants to end up wasting 1-3 hours mindlessly surfing the web instead of being productive and getting stuff done.

Modafinil tends to take an hour or so to kick in. However, if you're browsing the web or researching something interesting, you might find that moving to productive tasks becomes more of a chore once the drug kicks in.

Imagine Modafinil beginning to work and you’re more fascinated by Airbnb rentals in Goa, India, than you are in working. Soon, you'd have 11 tabs open browsing the cost of living in the city and why India is an amazing place to travel through.

Just. Don't. Do. It.

Have a Plan

This goes hand-in-hand with getting started right away: We make sure to plan out our day when taking Modafinil. In terms of how to take Modafinil effectively, this may be our most important rule…

We write out what we want to accomplish the night before. We put together a full-day plan that'll take 8-12+ hours to complete.

We’ll keep this plan in plain view when working that day. Then when we accomplish each task,we cross it off the list.

On Modafinil days, we’ll find ourselves cruising through our list by following this plan. Planning is key to a productive day on Modafinil.

Combine With Coffee

In our view, the combo of Modafinil and coffee is God's gift to productivity.

Caffeine seems to pair exceptionally well with smart drugs. In fact, many consider caffeine to be a nootropic by itself.

Coffee is a powerful performance enhancer. Caffeine is even banned by the NCAA as a performance-enhancing drug at high levels of consumption [18].

We’ll  drink anywhere from 1 to 4 cups of coffee on days when we take Modafinil. One can easily drink 1-2 cups of coffee after each meal to enhance the effects of Modafinil and increase cognitive enhancement.

Mushroom coffee pairs exceptionally well with nootropics.

Don't Mix Smart Drugs

While we’ve found mixing coffee with nootropics to be ideal, we do NOT combine other nootropics with Modafinil.

On days when we’re taking Modafinil, we don't need any other nootropics that day. We simply take the smart drug and drink a little coffee. That's really all us smart drug users need to succeed.

An obvious rule is don't mix any other drugs with Modafinil — prescription or over-the-counter. Mixing smart drugs is not only unhealthy but honestly…we find it simply unnecessary.

The effects of 200-300mg of Modafinil and a couple of cups of coffee is more than enough to get just about any user crazy productive and focused for 12+ hours.

Plan to Sleep In

It is quite likely that Modafinil is going to mess up your sleep schedule. That's just how a pharmaceutical drug created for shift work sleep disorder and sleep apnea works.

Luckily, one can minimize the negative sleep side effects of Modafinil with a few tips and tricks.

For example, we plan to sleep in the day after we take Modafinil. We never set an alarm. We don't stress ourselves out about getting to bed at a certain time. We just let the smart drug run its course and plan to sleep in.

If you're struggling to sleep after using Modafinil, a supplement stack designed to help you fall asleep can be beneficial. We occasionally add in these two supplements to ensure that we get a good nights' sleep:

Creativity Crushed

Modafinil doesn’t seem to increase creativity; it actually hinders the creative process a bit. While you might be able to crush work and stay focused for hours on end when using the smart drug, you may not feel much creative inspiration.

So we Modafinil when we need to be productive…

Accordingly, we avoid the smart drug when we need to be creative.

Buy Modafinil Online

Getting your Modafinil from a retail pharmacy in the Western world is both time-consuming and unnecessarily costly. You can easily check the overinflated prices at your local pharmacy.


You're much better off buying Modafinil on the internet.

Wondering where to get Modafinil? There are many reputable online vendors these days and most will have your shipment arriving within the week.

We generally get our Modafinil shipments within 5-12+ days when ordering in the USA. Which is pretty quick if you ask us.

We only buy from vendors that offer guaranteed delivery, as it means eliminating shipment risk on our end. The vast majority of digital nomads also get their Modafinil online.

Overall, it's just a lot easier and cheaper these days.

Plus, the high-quality generic Modafinil sold online won't be any different than what you get from a pharmacy in your country.

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Taking Modafinil Properly | Verdict?

Using smart drugs doesn't need to be complicated or unhealthy.

Consider our quick tips above when taking Modafinil. The nootropic has proven extremely safe under a variety of circumstances, as long as you take it properly.

Which is exactly the message we’re looking to get across with the tips and tricks above.


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  7. Ishizuka T, Sakamoto Y, Sakurai T, Yamatodani A. Modafinil increases histamine release in the anterior hypothalamus of rats. Neurosci Lett. 2003;339(2):143-146. doi:10.1016/s0304-3940(03)00006-5
  8. Brown RE, Stevens DR, Haas HL. The physiology of brain histamine. Prog Neurobiol. 2001;63(6):637-672. doi:10.1016/s0301-0082(00)00039-3
  9. Zolkowska D, Jain R, Rothman RB, Partilla JS, Roth BL, Setola V, Prisinzano TE, Baumann MH. Evidence for the involvement of dopamine transporters in behavioral stimulant effects of modafinil. J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2009 May;329(2):738-46. doi: 10.1124/jpet.108.146142. Epub 2009 Feb 5. PMID: 19197004; PMCID: PMC2672878.
  10. Minzenberg MJ, Carter CS. Modafinil: a review of neurochemical actions and effects on cognition. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2008 Jun;33(7):1477-502. doi: 10.1038/sj.npp.1301534. Epub 2007 Aug 22. PMID: 17712350.
  11. Rasetti, Roberta et al. “Modulatory effects of modafinil on neural circuits regulating emotion and cognition.” Neuropsychopharmacology : official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology vol. 35,10 (2010): 2101-9. doi:10.1038/npp.2010.83
  12. Baranski JV, Pigeau R, Dinich P, Jacobs I. Effects of modafinil on cognitive and meta-cognitive performance. Hum Psychopharmacol. 2004 Jul;19(5):323-32. doi: 10.1002/hup.596. PMID: 15252824.
  13. Lopes E, Pereira D, da Silva Behrens NS, de Almeida Fonseca H, Calvancanti PO, de Araújo Lima TF, Pradella-Hallinan M, Castro J, Tufik S, Coelho FM. Cataplexy as a side effect of modafinil in a patient without narcolepsy. Sleep Sci. 2014 Mar;7(1):47-9. doi: 10.1016/j.slsci.2014.07.015. Epub 2014 Aug 19. PMID: 26483900; PMCID: PMC4521649.
  14. Brühl AB, d'Angelo C, Sahakian BJ. Neuroethical issues in cognitive enhancement: Modafinil as the example of a workplace drug?. Brain Neurosci Adv. 2019;3:2398212818816018. Published 2019 Feb 15. doi:10.1177/2398212818816018
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  18. 2019-20 NCAA Banned Substances. Retrieved from

Medically Review by:
Diana Rangaves, PharmD, RPh

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